You can absolutely hire a federal criminal attorney before charges are filed. In fact, there are many good reasons to do just that, especially if you already know or have reason to believe that you’ve become the target of a federal investigation.
Even if you believe you are only a witness in a investigation it is imperative to know when to cooperate and when to keep your mouth shut. Many people who believe they are only witnesses find that they are actually under investigation themselves. If you have any connection to any criminal activity you should assume that you’re a suspect. If you already know that a search warrant has been executed on your workplace, then you should assume you’re a suspect.
There is plenty of evidence to indicate that the general lack of enforcement for white collar crime is at an end. Attorney General Merrick Garland confirmed white collar crime as the DOJ’s major focus this year. The emphasis is on prosecuting individuals, especially C-suite executives and officers who direct and monitor compliance efforts.
Last year the DOJ increased its white collar crime prosecutions by 10%.
There is focus on antitrust cases, on cybercrimes, and on insider trading in particular. There is also a great deal of focus on violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and on money laundering.
Most white collar crime cases are handled through deferred-prosecution and non prosecution agreements. This is because stronger enforcement efforts can destroy corporations and take thousands of jobs with them. Working with a criminal lawyer early can help you take advantage of these agreements. This means you get an opportunity to stay out of jail, and may be able to preserve your own life and livelihood.
We may even be able to get charges against you dropped or dismissed if you work with us early enough. This gives us the ability to help you navigate the investigation process in a way that keeps evidence out of the prosecution’s hands without violating any laws. It gives you the opportunity to craft immunity agreements as well, if you aren’t the “big fish” the government is going after.
In short, you need someone to evaluate your situation quickly, and to respond quickly.
Signs you need to contact a white collar crime lawyer include:
- Receiving a target letter
- Receiving a subject letter
- Being told you are a potential witness
- Receiving a request for evidence
- Your workplace has been the subject of a search warrant
- Federal investigators have shown up at your door for any reason
- You suspect your communications are being monitored
- You suspect your company is engaged in some form of wrongdoing
Are you in trouble? Don’t wait. We’re experienced federal defense lawyers, and we can help.